View Full Version : S&B 11x14 Alpha. Charcoal still life

08-06-2013, 09:42 PM
So I thought I would try a charcoal still life in the journal, figuring a portrait would take more time, and this was just a test. Well, apparently still life's take a long time too, especially when one is new to the medium:)
The paper handled the charcoal very nicely.
I'm not sure I like the Spectrafix fixative. It doesn't come out as a mist but fairly large droplets. I like the idea of it being non-toxic but I don't think I would trust it on anything I considered good.
I'm actually happy with the drawing considering it had a bad start and I was just going to give up, but persevered.

08-06-2013, 09:47 PM
For some reason I was only able to post one photo so I had to post a reply.

08-07-2013, 05:42 PM
Lovely still life. In order to post multiple photos, try the yellow icon with a mountain rather than the attach image.

08-07-2013, 09:41 PM
Thanks for the advice. I also decided to soak the Spectrafix sprayer head in some warm water, and it did help make more of a mist.

Joan T
08-07-2013, 09:53 PM
Wonderful charcoal still life!!! Charcoal is one medium I never really liked working with...I got just too messy. lol

08-08-2013, 09:42 AM
Very nice :). I love working in charcoal.

My minor crit ( you ask for crit) is that shadows soften and blur at the outer edges and IMO that would enhance your image. Too late once it is fixed though :(

An artist friend who is also a scientist tells me that chemically hairspray is fine as a fixative, with no contra indications. I tend to use that in my sketchbook ... Much cheaper and fixes well.

08-08-2013, 10:09 AM
I agree about the shadows. The shading around the pour spout of the pitcher was once gradated but since it had less charcoal the farther out it went, I believe the fixative kind of dissolved it. I tried to fix it but I couldn't get it to feather, it was laying on too dark after being fixed. Live and learn. The shadow of the pear actually was hard edged in the photo because the light was bright.
That's kind of why I like charcoal, it's helping me think about values because that's all there is.
I don't own hairspray, I have "naturally messy" hair which is never in a style I care to keep:)
Thanks for commenting.

08-09-2013, 08:01 AM
I don't use hairspray on my hair either but buy the supermarket cheapie stuff as fixative for sketchbooks.

Photos don't catch all the subtle variations the human eye catches, I so wish they did.

Hope you do more charcoal.

08-20-2013, 09:34 PM
beautifully done! I admire it very much.